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Forum Index > Historical Arms Talk > Open Ring Irish Swords Reply to topic
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Kirk Lee Spencer




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PostPosted: Sun 27 Nov, 2005 1:47 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hi Guys...

Thanks for you kind words...

Patrick... I was still downloading posts when you asked about close-ups of the hilt and engraving... I didn't even see your post until today. Anyway, I think the subsequent post should have shown these details.

ks

Two swords
Lit in Edenís flame
One of iron and one of ink
To place within a bloody hand
One of God or one of man
Our souls to one of
Two eternities
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Bill Grandy
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PostPosted: Sun 27 Nov, 2005 1:56 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Kirk,
I just read over how you put the sword together on the SFI thread. You mentioned that if you had to do the engraving over you wouldn't have done it free hand, but personally, I think it turned out wonderful as is. I think it has a more organic feel to it, because it's almost perfect... just like many originals.

Once again, well done! This sword is starting to inspire me to try a little home improvement myself... but we'll see. Wink

Virginia Academy of Fencing Historical Swordsmanship
--German Longsword & Italian Rapier in the DC Area--


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Patrick Kelly




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PostPosted: Sun 27 Nov, 2005 2:18 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Kirk Lee Spencer wrote:
Hi Guys...

Thanks for you kind words...

Patrick... I was still downloading posts when you asked about close-ups of the hilt and engraving... I didn't even see your post until today. Anyway, I think the subsequent post should have shown these details.

ks


Yes, I saw them. Very nice. It looks like a completely different sword now. Neat!

"In valor there is hope.".................. Tacitus
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Kirk Lee Spencer




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PostPosted: Sun 27 Nov, 2005 2:36 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Boris, Wolfgang and Patrik,

You asked me about the balance of the sword with such a light pommel and heavy blade.

I have not been able to find any data on the weight or thickness of the original sword in the National Museum of Ireland. Willis says that the blade is heavy and stiff. If so, with such a thin and light pommel the swords would probably be very blade heavy. I would guess the Cog would probably be 8-9 inches out from the cross.

As for the MRL replica, I wrote the stats down before I began work on it but have misplaced them. Just going from memory, the weight was about 3 pounds and 4 oz. The Cog was out about 6.5 inches from the Cross. As such the replica probably handled better (was less blade heavy) than the original. This would be because the pommel was much more meaty than any I have seen on originals. Also the blade on the replica is about 34.5 inches and the overall length is 45.2 inches. As compared to 38 inch blade on the original with and overall length of 49 inches. So the replica blade is about 4 inches shorter. Thus the replica should balance a little closer to the cross than the original.

When I finished the hilt work, I had done nothing to the blade other than remove the polyurethane coating and engraved the Celtic Cross. At that point the blade was quite stiff and blade heavy (probably much like the original). However, this was the only longsword I had and I wanted to use it for practice. As such, I wanted it to be well balanced. So I ground a concave distal taper into the blade. Before it tapered from about 4.6 mm at the forte to about 3.7 or so at the Cop. After I finished the blade work the thickness at the Cop was a little under 3 mm tapering even more to the tip. The Cog is now at about 5.6 inches from the cross. To me it feels really nice. It has a little tug forward holding it in a static position. But that same little bit of blade presence really seems to stabilize the motion when cutting. The lenticular section also keeps the blade stiff even with the reduction in thickness near the tip. In the end, what I have done is try to make up for the loss of mass in the pommel by reducing the mass in the weak part of the blade. So I end up with a 45 inch long longsword that weighs about 2.5 pounds Eek!

If you look at the archeological drawings I posted earlier in the thread, you can see another strategy for balancing a sword with a light pommel. Note that the blades are not very wide and that they have a very thick ricasso section near the cross. Some of the loss of mass in the pommel could be added to the ricasso just inside the balance point. (Also note the one sword that does show a cross section in the Cop, the Tonne Sword, shows a very thin section at the Cop)

hope this helps

ks

Two swords
Lit in Edenís flame
One of iron and one of ink
To place within a bloody hand
One of God or one of man
Our souls to one of
Two eternities
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Kirk Lee Spencer




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PostPosted: Sun 27 Nov, 2005 2:52 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Henrik Bjoern Boegh wrote:


...By the way, how's it going with your basket hilted cutlass project?

Cheers,
Henrik


Hey Henrik...

You have a great memory my friend!

Well the hybrid cold steel/museum replica is still in the works... should have it together before too long, baring any unforseen mishaps (which are quite common).

At this point I've taken them apart straightened the Dutch Cutlass Tang, rethreaded the pommel nut on the cold steel basket hilt to attach the cutlass blade. I have reshaped, polished and browned the basket. I have also reshaped the tip of the cutlass blade to make it a little more pointy using my brand new angle grinder... so that was fun (talk about mishaps Worried ). Anyway, that is all repaired and the blade is sitting above one of my bookshelves covered in mustard and wrapped in plastic wrap. I have some red graduation tassels I need to bury in the back yard for a day or so and then, once I sand the blade down a little, put the tassels on the inside of the pommel and put it all together it should be done.

Here is a picture of the two shortly after they were dissected.

ks



 Attachment: 86.5 KB
Res..BaskethiltCutlass.jpg
Cold Steel Baskethilted Backsword and MRL Dutch Cutlass about to me Hybridized

Two swords
Lit in Edenís flame
One of iron and one of ink
To place within a bloody hand
One of God or one of man
Our souls to one of
Two eternities
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Nathan Robinson
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PostPosted: Sun 27 Nov, 2005 5:35 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Personally, I've always suspected that these so-called "Irish Ring pommels" are pommels that are missing their faces. In other words, as Kirk mentions, they may have been hollow with solid faces that have since been lost. Barring supposition, is there any evidence for this or published discussion about it?
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Jean Thibodeau




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PostPosted: Sun 27 Nov, 2005 5:54 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Nathan;

I seem to vaguely remember seeying some sculpture showing Irish swords where the ring type pommel is shown.
( On a topic here maybe?)

If the swords usually had solid faces there would be no point in the sculpture showing the pommel as a ring.

The theory that the faces might have had solid faces still seems worth investigating as it might have been sometimes done ?

Maybe they kept falling off. Razz Laughing Out Loud

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Nathan Robinson
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PostPosted: Sun 27 Nov, 2005 6:47 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Jean Thibodeau wrote:
Nathan; I seem to vaguely remember seeying some sculpture showing Irish swords where the ring type pommel is shown. ( On a topic here maybe?)

Good point. Why would that have not occurred to me?

Somebody should re-post them here. That would be worthwhile

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Nathan Robinson
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PostPosted: Sun 27 Nov, 2005 6:52 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Can't remember where I have the sculture stored on my local computer, but here is something from our photo albums that shows it depicted in a time close to being contempory to the sword:


Irish Soldiers , Albrecht Durer , 1521

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Henrik Bjoern Boegh




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PostPosted: Tue 29 Nov, 2005 12:49 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hello Kirk,

Looking forward to seeing how it turns out. I think that project is so interesting that I just couldn't forget it... hehe
Have you done antthing to the forward guards (sword catchers/breakers)? I believe you wrote you'd reshape them..?

Cheers,
Henrik

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Thomas McDonald
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PostPosted: Wed 30 Nov, 2005 7:20 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hi Kirk

Excellent job on that piece, Kirk .... you have a real knack for this stuff and it shows !

I did get to view the original recently and it is a striking piece, although I'm not totally convinced it is nearly as old as its fellow peers !
The ring pommel is much thinner than the one that they did on your sword and the groove is narrow & deep, with its edges bevelling over to it. The overall construction is somewhat crude,especially the guard, and the blade seems out of place with the hilt ?
The condition of the sword looks almost modern when compared to everything else in that case .

But who knows ?
I'm still bumming that I had my Cannon hanging on my shoulder and was not able to take any photographs *sigh*
The photo documentation that I could have done on these babies would have been amazing !

Again, great job on your sword , Kirk .... I look forward to seeing your claidheamh crom realized !

Cheers, Mac

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Joseph Minarick




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PostPosted: Wed 30 Nov, 2005 2:02 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I have the original version of the MRL Irish ring hilt, the one with the very heavy ring and straight guard. Are there any examples of such a sword, or it it simply a misrepresentation of the type?
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Hisham Gaballa





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PostPosted: Wed 30 Nov, 2005 2:18 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I've also come across this picture purportedly showing 16th century Irish warriors:

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PostPosted: Wed 30 Nov, 2005 4:46 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Joseph Minarick wrote:
I have the original version of the MRL Irish ring hilt, the one with the very heavy ring and straight guard. Are there any examples of such a sword, or it it simply a misrepresentation of the type?


Hi Joseph

I'm not familiar with that MRL piece, so I'm not exactly sure what type of straight guard it had, but the only original ring hilt that I'm aware of with a somewhat straight guard is this one (the others end with fan type terminals) :

Mac


27. Correen, Co. Roscommon (Pl. Vb, c)
Find circumstances: River Suck
Collection: N.M.I. (A.I.) (no registration number).
Description: Extremely corroded and encrusted. Blade long, slender and almost parallel-sided; section cannot be determined, nor can presence of grooves or other decoration. Traces of a ricasso, 6cm long, visable. Tang slender, tapering and presumably of rectangular section. Crossguard slender, simple and expands slightly and evenly towards extremities.
Pommel an open ring, of rectangular section.
OL: 106.1 , Blade: L: 91.6, W: 3.5, Crossguard: W: 17.0, Pommel: D: 5.4

- Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy, Volume 86, C, Number 5, Andrew Haplin. "Irish Medieval Swords c. 1170-1600".



 Attachment: 60.25 KB
irish ring.jpg


 Attachment: 68.68 KB
irish ring2.jpg


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Bob Burns




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PostPosted: Wed 30 Nov, 2005 8:41 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hi Kirk,

Your sword is so very beautiful and elegant, I am a bit at a loss of words right now, the photagraphy of the autumn leaves accentuate this very stunning piece.

Thank you for the photographs,

Bob
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Jean Le-Palud




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PostPosted: Wed 30 Nov, 2005 9:48 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hi Kirk and everyone,
Very nice job on the open ring sword, but I especially love the way you made pictures of it, really BEAUTIFUL
Jean
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Kirk Lee Spencer




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PostPosted: Thu 01 Dec, 2005 6:25 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Henrik Bjoern Boegh wrote:
Hello Kirk,

...Have you done antthing to the forward guards (sword catchers/breakers)? I believe you wrote you'd reshape them..?

Cheers,
Henrik


Hi Henrik...

You're right again. It was the work of about and hour or so to cut down the forward guards to the diameter of the rods in the basket. Just drew out more period guards, took a cutting wheel on my dremel and and cut along the lines. Then with a drum sander, sanded down the edges, until it had a rounded rectangular cross section.

take care.

ks

Two swords
Lit in Edenís flame
One of iron and one of ink
To place within a bloody hand
One of God or one of man
Our souls to one of
Two eternities
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Kirk Lee Spencer




Location: Texas
Joined: 24 Oct 2003

Spotlight topics: 6
Posts: 820

PostPosted: Thu 01 Dec, 2005 6:42 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thomas McDonald wrote:


I did get to view the original recently and it is a striking piece, although I'm not totally convinced it is nearly as old as its fellow peers !
The ring pommel is much thinner than the one that they did on your sword and the groove is narrow & deep, with its edges bevelling over to it. The overall construction is somewhat crude,especially the guard, and the blade seems out of place with the hilt ?
The condition of the sword looks almost modern when compared to everything else in that case .

But who knows ?
I'm still bumming that I had my Cannon hanging on my shoulder and was not able to take any photographs *sigh*
The photo documentation that I could have done on these babies would have been amazing !

Again, great job on your sword , Kirk .... I look forward to seeing your claidheamh crom realized !

Cheers, Mac


Hey Mac...

Good to hear from you.

Thanks for the kind words. Again thanks for your help in learning more about this sword.

Sure wish they would have let you put your Canon into action, you have a real talent at getting good museum photos.

I guess that is why the museum photos I posted earlier were so blurry... they must have been contraband Eek!

I could see that the ring was much thinner than on the MRL version... I even thought about trimming it down... however, I wanted to try to balance the sword and needed the extra mass in the pommel. Also a thicker pommel would make the sword look more like the Andruil sword.

To me the blade is very heavy looking, especially near the tip... Could you get an idea of distal taper?

ks

Two swords
Lit in Edenís flame
One of iron and one of ink
To place within a bloody hand
One of God or one of man
Our souls to one of
Two eternities
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Kirk Lee Spencer




Location: Texas
Joined: 24 Oct 2003

Spotlight topics: 6
Posts: 820

PostPosted: Thu 01 Dec, 2005 6:47 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Jean Le-Palud wrote:
Hi Kirk and everyone,
Very nice job on the open ring sword, but I especially love the way you made pictures of it, really BEAUTIFUL
Jean


Bob and Jean...

Thanks for the compliments.

I have always enjoyed photography, especially photos of swords. They have a very organic beauty to their form, like nature. So swords photographed in nature just seems natural Wink

ks

Two swords
Lit in Edenís flame
One of iron and one of ink
To place within a bloody hand
One of God or one of man
Our souls to one of
Two eternities
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Joseph Minarick




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PostPosted: Thu 01 Dec, 2005 7:35 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Quote:

Hi Joseph

I'm not familiar with that MRL piece, so I'm not exactly sure what type of straight guard it had, but the only original ring hilt that I'm aware of with a somewhat straight guard is this one (the others end with fan type terminals) :

Mac



Thanks Mac. I took a picture of the hilt, so maybe this will be of some help. By straight I was refering to the lack of curve in the guard, it is still a fan type.

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